Mammoth Lakes Police Department was awarded $451,581 in state grant funding from California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to combat the illegal sale of cigarettes and tobacco products to minors. The grants, $37.5 million in total, were distributed to 71 local entities throughout the state. They will fund operations, retailer-training programs, the installation of signage, youth outreach, tobacco retail license inspections, training for sworn personnel, and other activities.
“Our schools have seen a dramatic increase in underage smoking and vaping. This grant will serve to fund a full time School Resource Officer (SRO) for two years who will conduct, along with their other normal SRO duties, programs focused on anti-tobacco campaigns in our schools and community,” said Chief Al Davis. “Additionally, this grant will help us to combat underage tobacco sales, educate our business owners and conduct community outreach on the dangers of tobacco.”
"Tobacco remains a very serious public health concern,” said Attorney General Becerra. “These grants will provide additional tools to law enforcement to help educate kids about the dangers of smoking. The grants will also help local communities enforce laws against selling tobacco products to minors. These grants are an important step toward reducing illegal sales and building a healthier California.”
Proposition 56 (Prop. 56), the California Healthcare, Research and Prevention Tobacco Tax Act of 2016, was approved by voters in November 2016. Effective April 2017, it raised the cigarette tax by $2.00 per pack, with an equivalent increase on other tobacco products. Prop. 56 specifically allocates $30 million of revenue to be distributed annually by the California Department of Justice to local law enforcement agencies for the support and hiring of peace officers for various activities, including investigations intended to reduce the illegal sale of tobacco products to minors.
This year’s Prop 56 grant recipients will use the state dollars to fund different anti-smoking campaigns and projects including new training and educational materials for officers and tobacco sellers to reduce illegal sales of tobacco products to minors, and law enforcement operations targeted at retailers selling to minors. The recipients are among different cities, counties, school districts and sheriff/police departments click here to see grant recipients.
For more information or to schedule an interview with Chief Al Davis, please contact Heather Johnston at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 760-965-3702.